COLE, Thomas I (d.1413), of Weymouth, Dorset.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Bailiff, Weymouth Mich. 1395-6.2
Commr. Weymouth, Melcombe Regis, May 1401 (to prevent ships of over 30 tons from leaving port).
Evidently Cole dealt in cloth, for in 1395-6 he was assessed for alnage on four broad cloths sold at Weymouth. He also exported it (for example, in November 1403, in a cargo shipped on Le Marie of Weymouth). He probably also traded in Gascon wines, for in November 1408 he received bonds for the payment of £10 by Nicholas Bridge, a merchant of London and Bordeaux. But he was locally active in other ways, too: in 1397 he had provided assurances to the earl of March’s bailiff at Wyke Regis that Philip Brice* would pay the £2 owing on his account as ‘messor’ of the manor; then, in May 1404, he and others, including the sheriff of Dorset, were ordered to distribute a tenth part of the ransoms for Frenchmen taken prisoner during a recent assault on Portland among those who had helped defend the coast but had not themselves made captures.3 It may have been this Thomas Cole who as ‘of Dorset’ in 1408 undertook with John Cheverell* (under a pain of £200) to produce in Chancery John de la Lynde, heir to a local tenant-in-chief; and it was certainly he who, three years later, shared with Sir Humphrey Stafford I* of Hooke in a grant, by Robert Veel* and others, of property in Melcombe Regis. Cole was among the Weymouth delegates who reported at the shire court the results of the parliamentary elections for the town of 1407 and 1413 (May).4
In 1406, following the death of his second cousin John Engleby of Bridgwater, Cole had added to his holdings in Weymouth two messuages in Ilchester and lands in North Petherton and Lymington (Somerset). He began disposing of his property in 1409, by conveying a house in Weymouth to John Abbot* of Melcombe and John Mey of Dorchester, and then, two years later, he settled on his second wife burgages in Ilchester and Lymington.5 By the terms of his will, made on 5 July 1413, his widow was to have two of his Weymouth properties, and another at Melcombe which, together with land at Wyke, she was to hold for life. His son John was to inherit three houses in Weymouth, a toft in ‘Wodecomb’ and the rest of his holdings, including lands at Piddletrenthide, it being understood that if John died without direct heirs his inheritance was to be divided among the three sons and two daughters of John Abbot. Cole’s will also provided for small bequests to Salisbury cathedral, the churches of Broadway and Wyke Regis, and the chapel at Weymouth; and it stipulated, too, that the fraternity of St. George at Weymouth should support a chaplain on income derived from the testator’s tenement in St. Nicholas Street. Cole died before 16 Aug., when his will came up for probate at Canterbury.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish this Thomas Cole from his namesake of Melcombe, who sat in the Parliaments of 1399 and 1407, since both Members held property in each of the two towns. But, generally, they were described as ‘Thomas Cole of Weymouth’ and ‘Thomas Cole of Melcombe’, and the latter outlived the former.
- 1. CPR, 1405-8, p. 307; CAD, ii. C2334.
- 2. SC6/834/8.
- 3. E101/343/29; E122/102/20; CAD, i. C860; SC6/834/30; CPR, 1401-5, p. 404.
- 4. CCR, 1405-9, p. 392; CAD, i. C734; C219/10/4, 11/2.
- 5. CAD, ii. C2637; iii. C2334; vi. C4823, 5944; CPR, 1405-8, p. 307.
- 6. PCC 27 Marche. John Abbott† junior had acquired the Ilchester property by 1424: W. Buckler, Ilchester Almshouse Deeds, no. 115.